Hello everyone! I am new! I am also new to busses and I must say, I already have Skoolie fever! Here is my story up to this point.
My name is Ben. I am 29 and Im married with 2 kids. I am a woodworker by day and an over the road box truck driver by night. I run a woodworking business from home and my wife Gabby is a Photographer/Graphic Designer. We live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Recently I went to visit my best friend Denny for the first time in several years. He lives on 35 acres out in the boonies of Pineville, Missouri. His parents and all of his siblings live in Tiny Houses there. Long story shortish, we hit it off and it was just like old times immediately. We had such a good time! Such a good time that Denny told us we could build a Tiny House on his property and not pay a dime. I laughed and I told him only if he partnered up with me and started a woodworking business together on his land. Just like that we are moving to Missouri and starting a woodworking business called "The Rockwood Colony"! We also decided that we are starting a YouTube channel also called "The Rockwood Colony" naturally! The channel will be about woodworking and Tiny House/Skoolie life in the country by the Ozarks! Denny and I have always been pretty weird/crazy together so it should be interesting. Oh ya.. this is a Skoolie thread!...
Now onto the part you all have probably been waiting to hear.. WE DECIDED TO LIVE IN A BUS!!!! We were originally going to build a tiny house on a trailer but then we thought hey, we want our house to have a Diesel engine in it
. Last Friday we won an auction on govdeals for a 1996 International Amtran dt444 3800 school bus with 110k miles on it that seats 77 passengers for $3004!! This bus is on southern Missouri about an hour away from Denny's acreage which we were already going to this weekend to visit again so it works out perfectly! We are getting our bus straight from a school district and it was still hauling kids last week! I talked to the mechanic that has worked on this bus for the past 20 years for an hour before I bid on it to make sure there was no problems. Not only did he guarantee zero mechanical problems, but he also said it's completely rust free and seems much newer than a '96 from all of the care it has received over the years! The way that he talked about all of their buses he's worked on for many years, I could tell he takes a lot of pride in what he does which made me feel so much better about buying a bus I've never seen in person. I have no pics of our bus yet btw but I will post some ASAP!
I am a bit nervous still because I know many people on different forums have talked about Amtran bodies being cheap and the dt444's having problems. Of course I didn't see any of these threads until after we won the auction but I have high hopes still and I'm hoping it's the unicorn out of all of the similar busses!
Like I said I am new to busses/skoolies so any opinions, feedback, and and advice would be welcomed with open arms! Thanks in advance and thanks for having me! I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you and seeing/hearing about your rigs!
Ps. We aren't moving until our current lease is up next June so we will be driving it 9 hours home and starting the conversion there. I've heard the dt444's can run into problems on long highway trips. Any advice on getting our new bus home safely would be greatly appreciated also!
Pps. This was short right?!